Jul 4, 201203:05 AMCup of Joe
Your weekly dose of strange parenting news, trends, and polls
The hidden dangers of sparklers
When I say “Fourth of July” what’s the first thing you think of? I’ll bet many of you thought “fireworks.”
Why is it that fireworks are so appealing to us? I remember gazing upon those white and red striped tents that sold bundles of explosive goodies when I was a kid, wondering how I could get my hands on them.
Numerous times, my friends and I tried to casually stroll into those tents and purchase some spinners or a fountain or two and were promptly told to get lost and come back with an adult.
It was probably all for the better.
If I had to guess at the one firework that doles out the most burns to kids each year, I would choose the most innocent one. Not roman candles, bottle rockets or firecrackers—I believe sparklers are to blame.
Sure, a pack of sparklers seems relatively safe when sitting next to something that could blow your pants off, but when you give a child a stick that’s burning at almost 1,500 degrees (hot enough to melt glass) and tell them to go have fun swinging it around, bad things are bound to happen.
More than once growing up, I or a friend did the infamous “dropped the sparkler on the ground in the dark” routine and screamed in pain as we picked it up by the wrong end or watched as somebody cried after stepping on one in bare feet.
Studies by Prevent Blindness America show 43 percent of kids under five who suffered fireworks related injuries in 2011 received them from sparklers.
The best option of course, is to leave the fireworks up to the professionals, but if you need to fulfill a fiery craving this holiday, be sure to follow these tips from safekids.org
- Only use legal fireworks
- Never light fireworks under a roof or near flammable materials
- Always wear shoes and avoid wearing loose clothing
- Stand several feet away once a firework is lit
- If a firework does not ignite properly, do not try to relight it
- Keep a bucket of water or hose nearby
Have a safe and fun Forth of July!